Mind Capsules – Aquaman: Rebirth #1 and Birthright #16

Aquaman Rebirth #1
Aquaman: Rebirth #1

Writer – Dan Abnett
Artist – Scot Eaton, Oscar Jimenez
Inker – Oscar Jimenez, Mark Morales
Colours – Gabe Eltaeb
Letters – Pat Brosseau

While not providing anything essentially new, what this Rebirth issue of Aquaman does is provide a perfect introduction to the character by going over some of his history and what he is up to now. It is framed as a narration with us not knowing who is doing said speech until the end of the book. It is a surprising reveal and it sets up the new ongoing title exceedingly well with the return of a villain who promises revenge upon Arthur and all that is his. Before that happens though, Dan Abnett aided by pencillers Scot Eaton and Oscar Jimenez gives the reader a bit of action as Aquaman must head off to stop The Deluge, a group of Atlanteans who are none too happy about their King’s dealings with the surface world. To that effect, they mean to annihilate Boston. Thankfully, though there was never really any doubt, Aquaman makes it just in time to stop them and rather than feel relieved, he wonders if this is just the beginning of things to come. One of the things that this book does quite a good job of is stressing just how important Aquaman is to the DC Universe and that he is more than just a guy that talks to fish. Point of fact, Arthur cannot actually talk to fish and though this has been brought up many times in his previous titles, it is not just the populace of the DC Universe that think so, but those who have never read his book before. So once again, Abnett sets the record straight and instills a sense of royalty and power into the man, something that sometimes gets lost in the mix. Also in the book, though playing a smaller role is Mera, Arthur’s better half and a queen in her own right. Here, she is present for moral support, something Aquaman needs on more than one occasion for a king is only ever as strong as his queen and Mera is strong indeed. She loves Arthur with her entire being and will do anything for him, whether that involves eating chowder, being the Atlantean ambassador or simply a shoulder to lean on. This was by far Abnett’s strongest outing with our sea-faring hero. Sure, little happened and not every issue can feature a ton of story developments, but this one balanced the ongoing crises being faced by the king along with a look at who he is and it is perhaps the most inviting of the Rebirth titles to come out thus far.

4 out of 5

Birthright #16
Birthright #16

Writer – Joshua Williamson
Artist – Andrei Bressan
Colours – Adriano Lucas
Letters – Pat Brosseau

The book begins with Mastema, one of the wizards on Earth, holding Rya and Wendy prisoner down in the basement of her home while others including Kylen and Enoch gather on the main floor. They are tired of Mikey not so much as eluding them as they are of him hunting them and Kylen especially wants to put a stop to it. In the meantime, Sameal has the boys and their father back at his compound where he means to tell them the truth of it all so that they might be able to move forward. Delivering another powerhouse issue is Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan, one that finds them bringing a few answers to light, but revealing more questions as they almost always do. One of the biggest questions this book has posed from the very beginning is just how Lore was able to get inside of Mikey and corrupt him the way that he did. Though Sameal does not have that exact bit of information, he believes that it can be removed and Mikey made whole once more. Taking it even further is Brennan, Mikey’s brother who is revealed to have some sort of magical talent running through his veins and believes that he might be the one to help Mikey and when he tries, it looks as if he is going to succeed, that is until things turn a different way. Through it all, we get to know Sameal a little better and just how it is that he was not able to stick around when the kids were young, or even more so, when his own son was younger. One question that makes you wonder is if Lore knew that Mikey was Sameal’s grandson when he sent Mikey off to kill all the wizards who escaped to Earth or if it is just some big coincidence. You also have to wonder if Sameal will be able to keep his compound and his family safe if the rest of the wizards know where he is. For the moment, Mikey has been taken out of the equation while his brother and his dad are nowhere near as useful should an all-out battle take place. With the story being as riveting as it is quickly paced, the artwork by Bressan continues to be as fantastic as it was from the first issue, perhaps even more so now that he has year and a half under his belt on the book. All in all, Birthright continues to thrill with the next issue looking to up the action-quotient exponentially, dragging us all along for the ride.

4 out of 5

2 replies »

  1. I’ve not been a regular reader of Aquaman, but thought I’d check out Aquaman Rebirth #1. It was a good issue, not all that vastly different, but it was probably the most accessible title for new readers to enjoy with Rebirth. Nice artwork as well. I might try a few issues and see how it goes. I’m not familiar with Birthright, sounds interesting though. Two great reviews to start the week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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